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Twitter, Inc. (TWTR)

  • Fri, Feb. 6, 12:45 PM
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  • Fri, Feb. 6, 11:59 AM
    • "We find it bullish that the stock is finally starting to work on monetization rather than user growth, as this marks a change in sentiment," writes Canaccord's Michael Graham, reiterating a Buy on Twitter (TWTR +16.9%) after it soundly beat Q4 estimates and offered mixed guidance. "We continue to believe Twitter has a long and predictable road map towards building a much larger business around its under-monetized audience.”
    • Cantor's Youssef Squali, one of several analysts hiking his target (he's now at $62), likes the fact management stated on the CC (transcript) user growth re-accelerated in January after slowing in Q4 due to a glitch in Twitter's iOS 8 integration.
    • RBC's Mark Mahaney is more concerned about user growth, as well as long-term ad upside. "[C]hannel checks still don’t provide convincing evidence that a substantial number of advertisers will commit substantial ad $s to Twitter. We are increasingly concerned that Twitter’s lack of real-time commercial intent (a la Google) or detailed, authenticated profiles (a la Facebook) will at some point materially limit TWTR’s ad growth potential."
    • CFO Anthony Noto mentioned on the CC Twitter won't be breaking out Timeline views going forward, since they don't account for product changes meant to lower views or content views on 3rd-party sites/apps. CEO Dick Costolo confirmed the Google deal, disclosed Vine is now showing over 1.5B videos/day, and stated Twitter is "working hard on a compelling product for logged out users."
    • Prior Twitter earnings coverage
  • Fri, Feb. 6, 9:12 AM
  • Thu, Feb. 5, 5:35 PM
    • Top gainers, as of 5:15 p.m.: PTLA +16.4%. GSB +15.6%. TWTR +11.4%. UBNT +10.8%. YRCW +8.3%.
    • Top losers, as of 5:15 p.m.: P -21.0%. FWM -15.0%. MXWL -14.6%. NTGR -13.5%. CTRL -10.4%.
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  • Thu, Feb. 5, 4:27 PM
    • After initially selling off AH in the wake of its Q4 beat and mixed guidance (quite possibly conservative, given the company's history), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has now rallied above $43.
    • Twitter averaged 288M monthly active users (MAUs) in Q4, up 47M Y/Y but just 4M Q/Q. The company notes 4M MAUs were lost in Q4 due to changes in 3rd-party Twitter integrations. Mobile MAUs were 80% of total MAUs.
    • Timeline views totaled 182B vs. 181B in Q3 and 148B a year ago. Twitter has argued Timeline views are an imperfect proxy of traffic, given its efforts to embed more media content within Timelines.
    • Ad revenue rose 97% Y/Y to $432M, after coming in at 109% in Q3. Data licensing/other revenue rose 105% to $47M. Mobile was 88% of ad revenue (up from Q3's 85%), and international 34% of total revenue (even with Q3).
    • GAAP costs/expenses totaled $577.2M; the year-ago figure of $752.3M is inflated by post-IPO stock compensation expenses. Q4 adjusted EBITDA was $141M, well above guidance of $100M-$105M. Q1 adjusted EBITDA guidance is at $89M-$94M, and full-year guidance at $550M-$570M (compares with 2014 adjusted EBITDA of $300.9M).
    • Q4 results/guidance, PR
  • Thu, Feb. 5, 4:08 PM
    • Twitter (NYSE:TWTR): Q4 EPS of $0.12 beats by $0.06.
    • Revenue of $479.1M (+97.4% Y/Y) beats by $25.96M.
    • Expects Q1 revenue of $440M-$450M vs. a $449.7M consensus.
    • Expects 2015 revenue of $2.3B-$2.35B vs. a $2.3B consensus.
    • Shares -5.6% AH.
    • Press Release
    • Update (4:27PM): Twitter has reversed course. Shares are now up 6.6% AH.
  • Tue, Feb. 3, 11:23 AM
    • Twitter's (TWTR +3.4%) mainstay Promoted Tweets ad product will run for the first time against Twitter content published on 3rd-party sites/apps, via deals with Yahoo Japan (OTCPK:YAHOF) and popular news-reading app Flipboard.
    • Twitter: "Through this new partnership, Nissan could run a Promoted Tweet campaign on Twitter, with specific creative and targeting, and simultaneously run the campaign off Twitter, with the same targeting and creative in the Flipboard app." The company adds there were 185B "Tweet impressions" off of Twitter in Q3.
    • The WSJ reported last month Twitter was getting set to sell ads on 3rd-party tweet streams, while sharing revenue with publishers. In addition to Flipboard, ESPN was mentioned as a potential partner.
    • SunTrust reacts to the announcement by joining Deutsche in comparing Twitter to 2013 Facebook. "We think investors are overly bearish on Twitter today (much like Facebook back then). Further, we think as Twitter signs more business development deals (Biz Dev) like these (both new and/or extensions of existing relationships like Flipboard or maybe an ESPN), that not only will monetization accelerate, but MAUs as well (particularly "Automatic MAUs")."
    • Q4 results arrive on Thursday afternoon.
  • Thu, Jan. 15, 2:34 PM
    • As was the case yesterday, many tech stocks are posting outsized losses amid a market selloff. The Nasdaq is currently down 1.1%.
    • Twitter (TWTR -5.7%) is among the guilty parties. The microblogging platform has given back a large chunk of the gains it saw last week following Carl Icahn rumors (since denied by Icahn) and Yahoo deal speculation. Its Q4 report arrives on Feb. 5.
    • Many other Internet companies are also off sharply. The list includes jobs site Monster (MWW -6.4%), local services marketplace Angie's List (ANGI -5.9%), online textbook rental leader Chegg (CHGG -5.7%), grocery coupon site (COUP -7.1%), flash deals provider Zulily (ZU -4.7%), and Chinese online real estate plays SouFun (SFUN -8.1%), E-House (EJ -6.3%), and Leju (LEJU -5.6%). Previously covered: Zillow and Trulia.
    • Other tech names posting major declines: M2M hardware provider Sierra Wireless (SWIR -6.2%), ultracapacitor maker Maxwell (MXWL -5.2%), RFID tech provider SuperCom (SPCB -7.1%), VoIP service provider magicJack (CALL -6.1%), NFC reader maker On Track (OTIV -7.1%), haptic tech developer Immersion (IMMR -5.3%), and security tech plays Barracuda (CUDA -6.4%), Vasco (VDSI -7.3%), and Imperva (IMPV -7.8%).
  • Tue, Jan. 6, 2:05 PM
    • A fresh rumor that Carl Icahn is buying a stake in Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has led shares to rally in spite of a broad market selloff. An Icahn/Twitter rumor also broke out in 2013.
    • Yahoo-related speculation might also be helping Twitter's cause. Ex-Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn declared on CNBC Twitter should acquire Yahoo's (NASDAQ:YHOO) core business - most of the company's market cap is tied to its Alibaba/Yahoo Japan stakes - and SunTrust's Bob Peck offered ten reasons why he thinks a Yahoo/Twitter merger makes sense.
    • Among Peck's arguments: Twitter could integrate its display and mobile ad platforms with Yahoo's; both companies claim strong news, sports, finance, and entertainment audiences; Twitter's short-form content could be matched with Tumblr's longer-form material; and Twitter's interest graph data could be paired with Yahoo's demographic data for ad targeting purposes.
    • In terms of growth profiles and valuations, Twitter and core Yahoo are very different entities.
  • Dec. 30, 2014, 3:13 PM
    • Via Rule 10b5-1 trading plans, seven Twitter (TWTR -2%) insiders unloaded 1.18M shares from Dec. 1-23 at an average price of $37.99, observes Barron's.
    • Co-founder/ex-CEO Evan Williams sold 744K shares, and (as previously noted) embattled CEO Dick Costolo sold his remaining indirect stake of 283K shares. Williams still owns 719K shares; Costolo directly owns 546K.
    • The other sellers: General counsel Vijay Gadde, product VP Kevin Weil, engineering VP Alexander Roetter, ad chief Adam Bain, and finance VP Luca Baratta.
    • Twitter is about a dollar above a 6-month low of $34.62. Shares -44% YTD, and trading for 9.8x 2015E sales.
  • Dec. 22, 2014, 12:29 PM
    • An unconfirmed rumor that embattled Twitter (TWTR +2.1%) CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down has led shares to spike higher.
    • The WSJ (citing current/former employees) offered a critical take on Costolo's reign as Twitter's CEO last month. Costolo's family trusts recently unloaded the last of their Twitter shares.
    • Argus launched coverage at Buy this morning, and Oppenheimer at Perform. Shares hadn't moved much in response.
    • Update (1:00PM ET): Twitter is now up 4.1%. On CNBC, SunTrust's Bob Peck has said he thinks Costolo could be gone within a year.
  • Dec. 16, 2014, 3:59 PM
    • Internet stocks have posted substantial losses after a morning market rally proved short-lived. The Nasdaq is down 1.2%.
    • In addition to Google, which has made new 52-week lows, Facebook (FB -3%), Twitter (TWTR -4.7%), Amazon (AMZN -3.5%), and Netflix (NFLX -3.2%) are among the underperforming names. Other decliners: Z -5.5%. TRLA -5.4%. MELI -5.4%. ZNGA -4.9%. ZU -3.2%. ANGI -3.4%.
    • The selloff comes even though Goldman upgraded its rating for the sector to Attractive from Neutral today. The firm noted Internet stocks are collectively down 16% over the last 12 months (maybe 18%-19% after today), and that forward EV/EBITDA multiples have contracted significantly.
    • Internet/social media ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
  • Dec. 15, 2014, 9:51 AM
    • JMP Securities has launched coverage on Twitter (TWTR +2.3%) with an Outperform rating and $49 target.
    • Among other things, JMP cites Twitter's reach, differentiated content, ad growth potential, and improving margins.
    • Shares had slumped to new 5-month lows last week before bouncing a little.
  • Dec. 8, 2014, 12:54 PM
    • Twitter (TWTR -4.8%) is below $37 for the first time since July 21, eight days before a market-pleasing Q2 report arrived. The Nasdaq is off 0.5% today.
    • Shares -25% since Twitter's Q3 numbers (released on Oct. 27) triggered fresh user growth/engagement concerns.
  • Nov. 26, 2014, 12:58 PM
    • Facebook (FB +2.1%) and Twitter (TWTR +2.6%) are rallying on a sleepy pre-Thanksgiving trading day. The companies have respectively seen 21.9M and 16.1M shares traded thus far vs. 3-month averages of 38.3M and 28.1M.
    • Several other Internet stocks (both U.S. and Chinese) are also moving higher. Z +2.3%. TRLA +3%. BITA +5.1%. EJ +6.7%. SFUN +2.6%. VIPS +3.3%. SOHU +2.9%.
    • Facebook is at its highest levels since selling off in late October due to its Q4 revenue and 2015 spending guidance.
  • Nov. 13, 2014, 3:56 PM
    • S&P has assigned Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) a BB- debt rating, with a stable outlook. The rating comes two months after Twitter raised $1.8B through a convertible debt offering.
    • S&P: "The company is investing very aggressively in growth. Depending on the level of business reinvestment, Twitter may not generate positive discretionary cash flow until 2016." However, the firm also thinks Twitter will "continue to experience very strong growth and not encounter a significant increase in competitive pressure."
    • Meanwhile, the sell-side has provided mostly positive reactions to yesterday's big analyst day product announcements and sales growth targets, albeit without issuing any upgrades. "We think management delivered in a watershed moment for the company," proclaims SunTrust (Buy).
    • Janney (Buy) is upbeat about Twitter's effort to boost sign-ups and grow video ad sales. "Although investors should still be somewhat skeptical, the details on new products and initiatives are encouraging and lead us to be incrementally optimistic."
    • RBC (Sector Perform) notes Twitter boosted its long-term EBITDA margin target range to 40%-45% from the 35%-40% provided at IPO time. It was also "impressed by the quality and detail of [Twitter's] presentations," but adds execution remains a question mark. Cowen (Market Perform): "While the new targets are thoughtful in our view, they also strike us as aspirational."
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Company Description
Twitter Inc is a global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time. It provides a way for people to stay informed about their interests, discover what is happening in their world and interact directly.